[Nottingham] Weird Stuff

Graeme Fowler nottingham at mailman.lug.org.uk
Thu Sep 12 09:24:01 2002

On Wed, 11 Sep 2002, Jon Masters wrote:
> I get the same as of a few moments ago when I fetched it from work but
> again, we are not on NTL: at work.

I'm on an NTL cable modem at home; it all looks fine from here. I have
however seen oddness on occasion -and not just  with google, either.

> It is more likely to be some hashing algorithm incorrectly assuming two
> images are identical or somesuch (if that's what they're trying to do now)
> than a deliberate attack - after all, on a day like today I can think of
> many other defacements that would likely happen first.

In a previous life I was on the team running the JANET web cache service
(large clusters of Linux machines, Linux load balancers, Linux caches
etc). Once in a blue moon we'd see similar peculiar behavior which
generally got put down to filesystem corruption. ISTR the easiest wayto
get rid of it wasto take that server 'offline' out of a cluster and give
it  the blunt end of "umount /cache/file/structure; mke2fs [options]
/dev/cachedisks(s); mount /cache/file/structure" and then give Squid the
appropriate commands to rebuild the cache and get back on with the job.

...and Lee wrote:

> Somethings screwed, somewhere, I don't like the look of it, not one one
> bit, all this transparent caching going on the internet, it's all very
> very bad for privacy and data security I can tell you.

As someone who's been  in the caching business, and someone who now
manages a network of several hundred thousand sites (and several thousand
servers) I can assure you,  at least in part, that there's nothing as
boring as looking at what people are browsing.

As long as the majority of the noise on the web is banners, spam and porn
then the miniscule amount of  stuff  we all push around isin no danger
of being read.

Of course (he says,putting on the Spook hat for change) you've got nothing
to hide, right? And ifyou have, why mention it?
Yes, I know both  sides of the argument are valid, depending on your POV.
It's all OT for this  thread, anyway.